After a crash: What car accident victims need to know
No one expects to be involved in a car accident, but thousands of crashes happen every single day nationwide. If the unexpected happens to you, the aftermath can be confusing, overwhelming and just plain scary - so it's best to be prepared, just in case. In this post, our Springfield car accident lawyers discuss ten important things to do following a collision.
Ten Things to Do After a Car Accident
1. Call 911. Reporting the accident to the authorities will create an official record of your accident and provide documentation of important facts and info. A police record can be extremely important evidence, should you need to file a personal injury claim to recover your losses and damages.
2. Seek medical treatment for any injuries. You should be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible, even if you think you're not really hurt. Symptoms associated with certain common car accident injuries may not appear right away - in fact, they may take hours or even days to appear.
3. Get insurance information from the other drivers involved. Always exchange insurance information at the scene: doing so can help you protect your rights in the future.
4. Get contact information from all parties involved and from any witnesses. As time passes, memories fade and evidence can be more difficult to locate. When possible, it's best to obtain this information immediately following a crash.
5. Do not discuss fault. Don't talk with the other drivers involved about who or what might have contributed to the crash. There may be contributing factors that you're unaware of - driver impairment or distraction, for example - and making an impulsive statement right after an accident could hurt you down the road.
6. Report the accident to your insurance company. Be sure to report the accident to your insurer as soon as possible - doing so will help protect your rights and expedite the claim process.
7. Photograph your injuries, your vehicle and the scene of the accident. Here again, this evidence can be invaluable. Document everything.
8. Keep records of your medical care and other expenses. You'll want to track any expenses you have that are connected to the crash, including doctor's visits, medical equipment, rehabilitation, and prescriptions.
9. Save all documents pertaining to the crash. Keep a folder that includes your police report, all insurance documents, and any other paperwork you receive that's related to your accident.
10. Seek advice from an experienced attorney. The sooner you talk to an attorney, the sooner you'll have a clear sense of your options - and the sooner you'll have an advocate working on your behalf.